"The Winter Star Party -
If You Build It, They Will Come -
A 25 Year Retrospect"
Tuesday, Feb 24th @ 3pm
Tippy D'Auria is the founder of the Winter Star Party which is sponsored by the Southern Cross Astronomical Society, and he has been the Chairman of that star party for thirteen of its twenty-four years. Tippy is also a founding board member of Astronomy Outreach network and an advisor for the Meade 4M Community.
In January 2001, Tippy received recognition for his contributions to amateur astronomy, as he was honored by the International Astronomical Union, when an asteroid was given the name "11378 DAuria" in his honor. That same year, Tippy led an expedition to the volcanoes of Costa Rica, to film a National Geographic documentary called "Volcano Hunters".
Tippy joined an elite group of some of the world's best planetary astronomers in 2001 on a mission to record a predicted flash on the Mars in a region called Edom.
In August 2007, Tippy received the 2007 Astronomical League Award for his many contributions to the Astronomical Community.
In February 2008, Tippy received an Astronomy Outreach Award – in recognition for his contributions in outreach and public education in Astronomy.
He is a noted astrophotographer who uses cold camera photography for his work and has taught Creative Photography at the college level. Tippy is a writer and an international lecturer as well as an avid volcano hunter. He has contributed to the section on darkroom techniques for the book Introduction to Observing and Photographing the Solar System as well as co-authoring with Vic Menard, the definite book on telescope collimation, titled Perspectives on Collimation - Principles and Procedures.
Tippy's Astronomical Vitae
Imaging Panel Instructor
Taimur (Tim) Khan, P.E. – Vice President, Southern Cross Astronomical Society / Winter Star Party Director & WSP Speaker Coordinator
Mr. Khan was born and raised in South Florida and has had a passion for astronomy since first being introduce to a telescope in his mid teens. His educational background includes a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Miami. He is a licensed Structural Engineer in the State of Florida and is an active member in the following professional organizations: Structural Engineering Certification Board, Florida Structural Engineer’s Association, Structural Engineer Institute, American Society of Civil Engineers and American Concrete Institute. Mr. Khan is currently vice president of a family owned engineering firm in Miami, Florida, where he has specialized in structural engineering ranging from large high-rise construction and large scale custom homes, commercial projects, Schools, and tract homes. Mr. Khan carries his astronomy knowledge into his professional career by advocating proper lighting techniques to his clients. In addition, Mr. Khan has designed and constructed a hurricane resistant roll off roof observatory to resist both hurricanes and tornadic winds.
During his stay at University of Miami in the mid 90’s, Mr. Khan became President of the University of Miami Astronomy Club as well as an active member of the Southern Cross Astronomical Society. Mr. Khan has been serving as an officer and board member of Southern Cross for several years, and has been appointed director of the prestigious annual Winter Star Party, held annually in the Florida Keys during February.
Currently, Mr. Khan enjoys heading out to dark skies to observe and photograph the night sky. He has been an active astro-photographer since the mid 1990’s, shooting with both film and CCD cameras.
Dr. James R. Webb
Director, SARA Observatory
Professor of Physics, Florida International University
"An Evening at the Edge of the Universe"
Thursday, Feb. 26th @ 2pm
Dr. James Webb grew up in Central Indiana, became hooked on Moon Landings and Cosmos, and decided to leave the GM factory where he made auto parts for Ball State University where he graduated with a BS in physics. He moved to University of Florida and earned a MS and PhD in astronomy. From there he worked for a year at Stephen F. Austin State University before becoming a resident astronomer for IUE at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He then accepted a position of Florida International University where he has been ever since. He as published over 40 refereed papers in journals and 60 other papers. He has organized two international conferences on Blazars. He has won numerous teaching awards including the “First annual Presidents Teaching award” at FIU and the SCAS “Astronomical Achievements” Oscar award. He has given hundreds of talks at schools, planetariums, science centers and star parties over a span of 17 years, and conceived and hosts FIUs’ public programs in physics. His research specialties are Quasars and Active galaxies and he has used data from telescopes around the world including high energy NASA observatories like EINSTEIN, EXOSAT, IUE and CGRO. He primarily uses the SARA telescope for research in the optical variability of Blazars. His speaking topics cover the whole range of astronomy and physics from the history of astronomy to string theory, cosmology to black holes, gravitational waves to the nature of time.
An Evening at the Edge of the Universe
Dr. Webb will take you to the very edges of the visible universe where active galaxies and quasars devour entire stars and eject jets of material at nearly the speed of light. In addition to the observations and theory of these objects, he will also let you “Hear” them, since some of the observations he and others have made have been turned into “Extragalactic Music”!
Donald C. Parker, M.D.
Tuesday, Feb 24th @ 2pm
Don Parker, a retired physician from Coral Gables, Florida has had a life-long interest in astronomy and, since 1953, has built a number of telescopes ranging in diameter from three to sixteen inches. Over the years Dr. Parker came to specialize in Solar System research and planetary photography. He has taken over 20,000 photographs and electronic images of Mars and Jupiter, as support for professional astronomers at NASA, JPL, and various observatories.
As a Mars Recorder for the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers, Dr. Parker has done extensive research on the climate and meteorology of the planet Mars. He has authored or co-authored over 150 papers on the Solar System and on planetary photography. These have been published in both amateur and professional journals, such as Science, Nature, Icarus, the Astronomical Journal, and the Journal of Geophysical Research. Parker’s photographs and electronic images of the planets have appeared in numerous books and magazines throughout the world, including Encyclopedia Britannica’s 1996 Science and the Future. He is co-author of the book, Introduction to Observing and Photographing the Solar System.
He is a member of many professional and amateur astronomical organizations, including Miami’s Southern Cross Astronomical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Astronomical Society, and the British Astronomical Association. He is past director of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers.
In recognition of his contributions to planetary astronomy, Dr. Parker was honored by the International Astronomical Union in 1994, when an asteroid was given the name “5392 Parker”. In 2004 he was awarded the Oriental Astronomical Association’s Gold Medal for his work on Mars.
"Hooked on the Moon"
Monday, Feb 23rd @ 2pm
Howard grew up under clear, dark skies in the heartland of Nebraska where the Milky Way appeared as a great, shining veil across the summer skies. It lured him to study the stars, and as an adolescent he frequently obsessed over small things, like which one of "those two stars" was alpha Capricorni. Later he learned that it was a double star and they both were-sort of. Wow, that was a long time ago.
These days (40 years later) he likes to obsess about the moon with questions like why is the Western Chain on the east side of the moon and why is Mare Orientale (the Eastern Sea) is on the west side Or other things like: How old are the craters? Are there volcanoes on the moon? Do impacting objects ever skip over the moon like a rock on a pond? Why are some areas smooth and some pockmarked? What are those bright streaks on the full moon? What the heck is a swirl, a basin, a rille, a dome? And so on... He did eventually find some of the answers and is willing to share this and other amazing, mostly-true bits of information about the moon to anyone who attends his light-hearted presentation of "Hooked on the Moon."
When not practicing medicine, Howard has photographed the moon and the sun regularly since 2003 and has had photos appear on the Lunar Photo of the Day, Astronomy.com, Spaceweather.com and on the ALPO Solar Section website. Several have been published in Selenology, The Lunar Observer, and on the cover of the spring 2008 issue of the The Journal of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers. He has also written several articles and some poetry about the moon and the sun that have been read by almost a dozen people, including his mother who didn't really understand it, but was "really proud."
So, if you are interested in the moon, possess a morbid curiosity of the speaker, or if you are just plain bored, attend "Hooked on the Moon." Don't worry, you don't have to be "really proud" to attend; Howard will understand.
For more information on Howard, go to the following links;
http://alpo-astronomy.org/solar/starshootastro.html or The Citzen Scientist
"The Mythical World of Telescopes"
Thursday, Feb 26th @ 3pm
We buy telescope based on what we know, but our "knowledge" of Telescopes can mislead us. Some things we "know" about telescopes are wrong. Some knowledge is incomplete and therefore misleading. Some myths have been repeated so often they are taken as true. Advertising hype distorts our understanding of telescopes, either exaggerating or minimizing differences and problems. While the internet can be a valuable source of information, it has also contributed to the mythical world of telescopes. This light-hearted talk will take a fresh look at telescopes, exploring what is true and what is myth.
Alan French has been a serious telescope maker and star gazer since 1965. He has made 11 Newtonians from 6" to 14.5" aperture, including a robust 10" f/9.5 Dobsonian.
He has been active in the Albany Area Amateur Astronomers since 1972. He has served as President, Newsletter Editor, and is now Vice President. He and his wife Sue are Star Party coordinators and have run regular Monthly public star parties for more than two decades. He is Vice President of Dudley Observatory's Board of Trustees, and chairman of their Education Committee.
Although Alan loves telescopes, he also enjoys naked eye and binocular astronomy. He has been holding regular public constellation programs atLandis Arboretum in Esperance, New York.
This is his 13th Winter Star Party, and 2007 was his 39th pilgrimage to Stellafane, where he has served as an optical judge for several years. He has attended more than three dozen other conventions, and always enjoys checking out new telescopes. He has previously spoken at Stellafane, Northeast Astronomy Forum, the Connecticut River Valley Astronomers Conjunction, Stella-Dela-Valley, Mid-Atlantic Star Party, Texas Star Party, Southern Star, and Winter Star Party.
He lives in upstate New York with his wife Sue, and two house rabbits.
Links to Sualan, the asteroid named after he and his wife:
He spoke at WSP once before, in 1996. On the speaker's schedule it was billed as "Astronomy vs Astrology," but the complete title was "The Trouble with Astrology - An Astronomer's Defense Kit."
“The Apochromatic Refractor”
Tuesday, Feb 24th @ 1PM
Roger is a trained optician and was with the University of Arizona's Steward Mirror Lab for ten years, where he was the lead optician in the Small Optics Shop. His projects included optics for the prime-focus corrector of the 90-inch Bok telescope on Kitt Peak, and for the ARIES spectrograph of the MMT 6.5-meter reflector, among much else.
He has thirty years of experience with amateur telescopes, and has refigured many lenses and mirrors, including the 11" f/15 refractor at the George Observatory south of Houston (TX). More recently he has done consulting in optical design and is currently at work on a book and several articles.
Finger Lakes Instruments
Gregory Terrance & Jim Moronski
"Understanding your CCD Camera"
Wednesday, Feb 25th @ 2pm
Gregory Terrance is one of the founding members of Finger
Lakes Instrumentation and has been an avid lunar / planetary
observer since first receiving a small refractor at the age of
ten. After using film to photograph the planets with for many
years, he switched over to CCD imaging in 1992. Not long
afterwards he attended a class on how to build a CCD camera at a
local collage and shortly afterwards joined a group of dedicated
enthusiast to start FLI. In the past he has written a dozen
articles for Astronomy Magazine and imaged from a dark site in
Lima NY. These days he enjoys viewing solar system objects from
his home in Rush NY.
Jim Moronski is one of the founding members of Finger Lakes Instrumentation. He start designing CCD cameras as a hobby 1992. The first astronomical pictures taken were that of the black scars left on Jupiter after the impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. He graduated from Binghamton University with an MSEE in 1995. He remains active at the University as both a doctorate student and an adjunct lecturer for Power Electronics and Computer Networking. His professional career consisted of power supply design and embedded systems design. He joined FLI full time in 2005 as their software/digital hardware designer. He currently lives in the Binghamton, NY area where he recently opened FLI's second office.
For more information, visit the Finger Lakes web site at http://www.fli-cam.com/
Richard D. Crisp
"Residual Bulk Image in CCDs" & "Photon Transfer Methods for Characterizing Electronic Imaging Systems"
Wednesday, Feb 25th @ 3pm
Richard has over 30 years experience in R&D/Design in the semiconductor industry having designed many microprocessors and memories in common use from Motorola, Intel and Rambus. Richard was the memory subcommittee chair for the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) for several years in the 1990s and was the Program Chair of the conference for the year 2000. The ISSCC is the IEEE's premier semiconductor circuits conference with attendance from all over the world and is the place where IBM, Intel, Samsung and others unveil their latest technology developments. It is extensively covered by the financial press and other worldwide news organizations. It is a big deal and being the program chair is a big deal: “I am one of about 55 such chairs in its 55+ year history.” Additionally Richard has about 20 US patents and many more pending. Currently Richard is involved in image sensor and memory packaging technology for advanced chipscale miniaturized applications as director of semiconductor pathfinding at Tessera Technologies
Ron DiIulio (Dee-u-Lee-o)
Thursday, Feb 26th @ 1pm
As the Director of the University of North Texas Astronomy Laboratory Program and planetarium, Ron is responsible for the daily operations of one of the largest astronomy laboratory programs in the United States. Each semester, over 1500 students participate in UNT’s introductory astronomy classes which have been developed to fulfill the academic lab requirements of non-science majors.
The astronomy program’s facilities include the Monroe Remote Observatory, located 50 miles North of UNT’s campus, as well as UNT’s digital Sky Theater, and the new Rafes Urban Astronomy Center, which includes the Parker Telescope – donated by Dr. Don Parker.
Five years ago, NASA appointed Ron as one of about 200 Solar System Ambassadors from around the world, charged with the responsibility of sharing and interpreting NASA developments.
Ron is also past President, and Board Chairman of the Fort Worth Astronomical Society and currently serves on its Board of Trustees.
His works and publications include several award-winning video documentaries that have shown on PBS, including “Dark Noon”, a video taken during the great solar eclipse of 1979, where he captured Shadow Bands on digital video, which to this day have not been successfully recorded by any other video crew.
Ron also maintains an extensive collection of meteorites.
"Building Telescopes at the Bleeding Edge"
Monday, Feb 23rd @ 11:30am
This talk will cover the technical challenges and designs of the next generation ground based and space based telescopes as they relate to image quality, stability and resolution while providing a historical walk through the last hundred years of professional telescope designs right up to the projects on the drawing board today. Some telescopes highlighted will be the TMT ( Thirty Meter Telescope) , ELT ( European Large Telescope), ATST ( Advanced Technology Solar Telescope), JWST (James Webb Space Telescope), deformable mirror technologies, and active optic systems for large telescopes. The quick paced talk will be laced with many insightful photos showing internal hardware and mechanisms not typically seen by the public on these projects. The imagination runs wild as one thinks about imaging through these instruments!
Brian Lula has the thrill of saying that his amateur telescope making hobby literally turned into his career....but not quite the way one would expect. Brian has been a lifelong amateur telecope maker designing and building a wide assortment of telescopes, observatories and accessories over the years. Brian is also an accomplished astroimager with many of his CCD images being published in popular magazines and showing up a number of times on NASA's APOD.
What Brian has done for a living for the last 25 years is manage high tech motion control companies with the last 15 years serving as president of PI (Physik Instrumente), the world leading company in nanopositioning systems. Many of the products PI designs and manufactureres are used by the most sophisticated telescopes in the world to help them acheive their resolution goals. One of Brian's great joys working for PI is being involved with the project teams in the design meetings for these next generation telescopes.
Brian is a mechanical engineer having first worked in designing steel mill machinery after his graduation. The pull of telescope making was too strong and over the next 25 years Brian weaved his career along with his interests in telescope making mainly in the area of motion control and optomechanical systems. In addition to his job responsibilities Brian serves as the Secretary Treasurer of the International Society of Optical Engineers ( SPIE) and their Executive Committee. The SPIE serves a worldwide participation of of approx. 40,000 engineers and scientists. In 2008 Brian was awarded a Fellow of the Society for his work in the nanopositioning of astronomical instrumentation. Brian is also a member of the University of Arizona's Astronomy Board associated with the Steward Mirror Labs and a charter member and telescope making judge for the Springfield Telescope Makers.
President and CEO
Global Safety Labs, Inc.
Monday, Feb. 23rd @ 3pm and Tuesday, Feb 24th @ 11:30am
Andrew Allen was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer in July 2008. Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Global Safety Labs (GSL) is the leading-edge provider of new technologies and products to the fire suppression and safety industry.
Mr. Allen is also the founder and majority owner of Aerodyne Industries LLC, a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business that is a top engineering and IT solutions company.
Previously, from 2004 to 2007, Mr. Allen held executive assignments with Honeywell, serving as Vice President of Space Programs and Requirements, Vice President of International Military Aircraft Programs, Vice President of Space Systems Sales and Marketing, and Vice President and Program Manager for Engineering Services to NASA.
Prior to joining Honeywell in May 2004, Mr. Allen worked from 1998 to 2004 for United Space Alliance, the prime contractor for NASA operations and maintenance of the space shuttle fleet, astronaut training and Mission Control. His most recent position there was as Program Manager for Ground Operations. As such, he was responsible for managing and leading more than 4,000 employees in performing Space Shuttle processing, launch and landing operations at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Before joining United Space Alliance, Mr. Allen served as a NASA Astronaut. Selected by NASA in June 1987, he is a three-time space flight veteran and Space Shuttle Commander, with over 900 hours in space. During his 10 years with NASA, Mr. Allen also served in a number of technical and management assignments, culminating in his final assignment (in Washington, DC) as the Director of the International Space Station.
Previously, Mr. Allen was a member of the Navy, ROTC unit and received his commission in the United States Marine Corps at Villanova University in 1977. As a Marine Corps aviator, he flew F-4 and F-18 aircraft and graduated from: the Marine Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, the Naval Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) and the United States Navy Test Pilot School. Before retiring from the Marine Corps in 1997, Mr. Allen had logged over 6,000 flight hours in more than 30 different military aircraft.
Mr. Allen holds a number of distinguished honors, including: Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Single Mission Air Medal, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal and NASA Space Flight Medal. He is also a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Association of Space Explorers and serves on the Advisory Board for the University of Florida Business School.
Mr. Allen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Florida. He also holds three honorary doctorate degrees in Public Service, Engineering Science and Aerospace Management.
Mr. Allen is married and has four children.
Dr. Mike Reynolds
Thursday, Feb. 26th @ 10:30am with the "YAC'ers"
Dr. Mike Reynolds has spent thirty-four years in astronomy and space sciences in the gamut of a high school and university instructor, planetarium and museum director, researcher, writer, and lecturer. He earned his Ph.D. in Astronomy and Science Education from the University of Florida. Reynolds has received numerous recognition for his work, including the 1986 Florida State Teacher of the Year, NASA Teacher-in-Space National Finalist, and the G. Bruce Blair Medal. He has written a number of astronomy books and articles and is a Consulting Editor for Astronomy Magazine. Reynolds has led numerous astronomical expeditions worldwide, and has also served as an invited speaker internationally. Mike is Executive Director Emeritus of the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California and is currently Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences and teaches Astronomy at Florida Community College in Jacksonville, Florida.
Dr. Russell Romanella
"The Exploration Mission"
Monday, Feb 26th @ 12:30pm
Dr. Romanella is the Director of the International Space Station (ISS) and Spacecraft Processing Directorate at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida where he is responsible for all ground processing of Space Station elements getting ready to fly in the Space Shuttle. Dr. Romanella joined NASA in 1981 as a co-op student while attending Florida State University where he received his degree in Mathematics and computer Science. Dr. Romanella’s broad range of experiences include Space Shuttle processing, the International Space Station, and future NASA Exploration programs including the return of humans to the Moon and the first human landing on Mars. Dr. Romanella has received numerous achievement and performance awards, including NASA's Exceptional Service Medal and the Center Director Award for his leadership in preparing Space Station elements for launch from the Kennedy Space Center.
Presentation Title: The Exploration Mission
Synopsis: This presentation will summarize many of NASA’s current and future exploration activities at a high level. It is meant to inspire and entertain and be used as a tool for anybody who wants to share the NASA vision.
Abstract: Beginning with a brief history of NASA and ending with an inspirational slide show highlighting human exploration this presentation has been called one of the “best ever about NASA”. It is meant to inspire and educate, excite and entertain. With over 250 slides and some of the greatest photography ever taken of our earth and space this presentation is meant to be used as a tool that anybody can customize and use to share the NASA Mission. Each slide has a notes page explaining the content of the slide. The presentation focus on the current Shuttle program, the International Space Station, Orion and Ares for Constellation, Hubble, and other current and future robotic NASA missions.
For more information, please go to the following web site;
"Visitors from Space"
Wednesday, Feb 25th @ 10:30am - 11:30pm
Better known to most as "The T-shirt Guy," "The Meteorite Guy," "Crazy Bob," or "Everyone's Favorite Pain In The A**," Bob Summerfield is the Founder and Director of Astronomy To Go, a Philadelphia-based, nonprofit educational outreach organization, formally begun in 1990. A life long amateur who's passion for Astronomy began with his first lessons in Space Science in 3rd grade, he has been teaching an adult school class at Cheltenham High School for 27 years, starting before he was a graduate. Bob has worked with Astronomy Clubs, schools, camps, scout troops, museums, and all sorts of civic organizations across the country. The goal is to encourage people to look up, and get to better understand our neighbors and happenings in the Universe, near and far. While most Star Party attendees think of Astronomy To Go's Vendor Booth as a unique Astronomical Gift Shoppe (not to mention a fun place to visit) most don't realize that it's just the fundraising side that supports their real mission of educational and public outreach. Working together with his wife, Lisa, Bob presents hundreds of programs each year for thousands of students of all ages. Their programs range from lectures and slide shows to hands on presentations, planetarium shows, and outdoor observing sessions, night and day. They are also the owners/caretakers of The Yard Scope (36"/f 5) and invite everyone to stop by for some time at the eyepiece.
Bob has appeared on numerous TV programs on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, Discovery Channel and NASA-TV, as well as many radio programs, and in print media, from newspapers nationwide to Sky & Telescope magazine. He has become a regular outreach presenter at the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences annual conference. Bob and Lisa were honored by the International Astronomical Union in 1997 when an Asteroid was named "7344 Summerfield" in recognition of their educational efforts. They were also honored to receive The Omega Centauri Award at the 2002 Texas Star Party for "bringing Astronomy to the public."
For WSP '09, Bob will present his very popular program entitled "Visitors from Space." This talk is open to all star party attendees, adults as well as children.
You can visit Bob's web site at http://www.astronomytogo.com/